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  • Joined Jul 6, 2016
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Quanzhi Gaoshou

Jul 16, 2017

As another entrant in 2017's list of "I don't understand why this is as popular as it is", Quan Zhi Gao Shou (The King's Avatar) seems to have garnered a fair amount of praise despite (as far as I can tell) committing many of the cardinal sins by which many of its fellow anime series are regularly condemned.

At the risk of making claims with no evidence to back them up, I can only conclude that QZGS's appeal stems mostly from an intersection between fans of anime and fans of MMORPG-style gaming; ergo, the appeal of a series which (however superficially) explores the online gaming and e-sport communities outweighs consideration of plot, characterisation and many of the other traits which, I posit, would make up a good series. QZGS follows Ye Xiu, a pro in the online experience 'Glory' who is ousted by his team after a dip in their performance is blamed on his captaincy. Ye Xiu takes up a job at an internet cafe, which gives him plenty of time to build up a new account and start taking regular players and even pros to task, making the name 'Lord Grim' a new and terrifying entity on the 10th server.

Too bad the series as a whole can be summarised effectively in seven words: "Ye Xiu is very good at Glory". That's basically the whole show.

There's very little to recommend this series on, other than its focus on gaming communities rather than the concept of living in a virtual game world, which does at least set it apart from the likes of Sword Art Online and Overlord. There are SO many characters introduced across 12 episodes and yet so little of interest; a few of them are presented as funny (though I didn't personally click with the show's sense of humour) or given just enough screen time that you can maybe fool yourself into thinking that they're important, but I got to the end without forming any attachments. Ye Xiu himself is a fairly cookie-cutter super-competent male protagonist, who engages in enough smug low-effort trash talk than he's not even particularly likeable in his humdrummery. Half of his in-game opponents appear and disappear at the drop of the hat (we even get introduced to one or two in the latter half of the final episode, which is in itself bizarre) and many look extremely similar, meaning that you'll constantly be asking yourself whether grey-haired anime boy A is the same grey-haired anime boy who we got last episode, or a different one. The 'plot' is extremely repetitive and mostly consists of Ye and friends going to train, speedrun a dungeon or fight a new and tedious foe, and every time Ye wins effortlessly with animations that, though flashy, are similar enough each time that they become unimpressive through saturation. The fact that this is all happening in a non-pro, low-stakes virtual space removes much of the tension that might otherwise be experienced in such encounters, and any which is left is destroyed by a complete lack of belief that Ye will ever come even close to losing. There IS no tension, is what I'm basically intimating. In an attempt to accrue interest, the series occasionally gives weird filler scenes like a girlfriend calling her pro-gamer icon boyfriend as he sits at a faux-McDonalds shoot, some of which might be intended as world-building but are simply unnecessary.

Other than plot or characters, what's there to celebrate? The series itself doesn't look bad, produced as it is by Tencent, but there's a lot of CGI and it can only sometimes works in context; there are lots of odd shots of fully-cgi chairs spinning around and crowds of janky-looking computer generated men at computers. The voice acting ranges from competent to pretty dull; some lines are delivered with admitted gusto and effort, others as if the VAs themselves can't grasp any salient character traits or emotions and are just submitting words like one would submit their tax returns. The MMO aesthetic is, again, the only real draw, lots of contrasting neon and dark colours, virtual landscapes of sand and graveyards, and colourful enemy designs. But unless that grips you to the extent that you can forgive all other shortcomings, and an ending which establishes nothing that wasn't obvious six episodes prior, then it possibly won't.

TL;DR; while I wish not to take away the enjoyment that some people CLEARLY have had from QZGS, I have to conclude by saying that I found very little. Unless the thought of watching a boring protagonist endlessly school dozens of paper-thin and visually-similar opponents in a virtual world appeals greatly to you, I'd try something else.

2/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
3/10 characters
3.5/10 overall

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RhetoricalSave Nov 3, 2019

A very thorough review of the anime, well done. 

tsundere1ftw Nov 20, 2017

Good review.

A friend recommended this to me but in the end it was a boring show...

joseph12798 Aug 9, 2017

Regardless if I agree with your opinion or not its always a treat to read your reviews.

As always keep up the good work!